A trademark is a distinct word, symbol, design, phrase, or combination of these things that represents the products or services of a business. Customers recognize a business in the marketplace with the help of a trademark and distinguish them from its competitors. Thus, it is a kind of intellectual property that differentiates the product or services of a company from its other competitors in the market. The Trademark Act, of 1999 in India allow businesses to register a trademark to owe exclusive ownership rights on their chosen mark and prohibits other businesses from using the same mark. There to protect the brand name, businesses in India need to opt for trademark registration services from a professional company like UComply.
What is Trademark Registration?
Trademark registration is a process carried out by businesses to protect the unique identity and dignity of their products or services. The trademark registration provides businesses or the owner of the trademark an exclusive right to conduct business using the trademark all across the country. Businesses need to register their trademark to prevent others from copying their mark and presenting other products with the same mark. The Trademark Act was passed in India in 1999 and at present, the trademark registry works as the functional body of the Act or it is said to be working side by side. The trademark registry as the functioning body implements all the rules and regulations of the trademark law in India. UComply helps businesses of all sectors through a wide range of legal services that include trademark registration services in India at quite affordable prices. It is vital for businesses to avail of trademark registration services online from a professional like UComply because the process includes several steps and requires constant government follow-up.
Types of Trademark Registration in India
In India, there are different types of trademark registrations, though their objective is to provide identity to the products or services of a company.
- Product Mark:A product mark is used to identify a good or a product and it also assists in the identification of the origin of the product and the prevention of the reputation of the company. Trademark class 1-34 represents goods so the application filed under this is termed a product mark.
- Service Mark:It is a mark that is used to represent a service and its basic objective is to distinguish its proprietors from the owners of other services. Trademark class 35-45 is termed as service marks so applications filed under this are termed as a service mark.
- Collective Mark:Collective mark represents a group and indicates some distinguishing features of the products or services of the company. A group of people can use this mark to protect goods and services on a collective basis. This trademark can be obtained by an association, a public institution, and a corporation.
- Certification Mark:This mark symbolizes some specific data related to the product’s origin, substance, quality, etc., and is issued by the proprietor. Its prime objective is to set a standard for the product and ensure buyers about the quality of the product, as it has gone through standardized tests. This mark is visible on all packaged goods.
- Shape Mark:After deciding the distinct shape of a new product, manufacturers register the shape. As customers associate a certain shape with a specific manufacturer, the business registers the shape mark to secure the shape of their product.
- Pattern Mark:Certain products have a specifically designed pattern as their distinctive features, so a distinct pattern mark is registered. Patterns that are not distinct and do not appear noteworthy are rejected, hence a pattern should be distinct to be registered.
- Sound Mark:It is a sound linked with a product or service of a company, and is also known as audio mnemonics. The sound mark occurs at the start or end of commercials and a popular example of the sound mark is the IPL tune in India.
The benefit of Trademark Registration in India
Trademark registration serves the following benefits to businesses in India:
- Exclusive Control & Rights:The business owning a registered trademark for a product or service has complete control and right over it. The proprietor or business is the exclusive owner of the trademark and can restrict other proprietors from using the same trademark in the class in which it has been registered. However, the proprietor can use the same trademark for all its other products that fall under the class mentioned in the application.
- Gain Customers’ Trust:Since a registered trademark indicates the quality and reputation of a product or service, it develops confidence and trust among customers in the market. The trust and faith of the customers allow them to be long-term clients of the company, who prefer trademark brands over others.
- Distinguishing Product or Service:Trademark registration differentiates the product or service of a company from its competitors, thus making it easy for the customers to find the product. Since the trademark logo or design indicates the company’s trait or vision, it also proves to be an effective promotional tool.
- A Proof of Quality and Value of a Product:Trademark registration is solid proof of the quality and value of a product or service, as the quality of the product or service is often associated with its trademark. This also helps in attracting new customers who judge the quality of a product by its trademark logo or design.
- Intangible Asset:Trademark act as an intangible asset in the company’s balance sheet, providing all benefits associated with such assets. Thus, trademark registration creates a company’s intellectual property and it is a legal privilege that can be sold, economically contracted, or franchised.
- The company can legally use the ® Symbol:The ® symbol can only be used by the company on its logo when it registered a trademark. This symbol indicates a registered trademark that cannot be used by anyone else. Using the same trademark without the permission of the proprietor is legally not permitted and users can be legally sued for the infringement of legal rights.
Who is Eligible for Trademark Registration?
Trademark registration can be obtained by businesses or individuals to protect their distinct logos, designs, brand, or slogan. Trademark registration in India can be filed by individuals, corporations, as well as non-profit organizations. All the following are eligible to apply for trademark registration.
- Individual:An individual, not doing any business, can also obtain a trademark registration for a symbol or word that the applicant may use in the future.
- Joint Owners:If a company has joint owners, then they both can file for trademark registration and the name of both owners will be specified in the application.
- Proprietorship Firm:A trademark registration can also be filed by a proprietor firm under its name but they cannot file a trademark application under the business and proprietorship names. Business name and proprietorship name are considered separately in the application.
- Partnership Firm:A partnership firm can apply for trademark registration by including the names of all the partners in the application, however with a maximum of ten members. In the case of a minor partner, the name of his/her guardian can be mentioned.
- Limited Liability Partnership/LLP:A LLP can apply for trademark registration in its name. An LLP is an incorporated body in which every partner has own identity and they cannot be the applicant. Trademark in this case belongs to the LLP.
- Indian Company:Indian company irrespective of a private limited or limited company needs to file a trademark application in the name of the company because the director of the company cannot be a trademark applicant.
- Foreign Company:A foreign company can apply for trademark registration in India by filing the registration in the corporate name with which it is registered in the foreign country. The foreign company should specify the nature of the registration, country, and law in the application.
- Trust or Society:A trust can file for trademark registration in the name of the managing trustee, secretary representing the trust, or chairman.
Documents Required for Trademark Registration in India
Vital documents require for online trademark registration in India include:
- Applicant’s name
- Incorporation certificate of the company or LLP if filing for trademark registration
- Partnership deed if a partnership firm is applying for trademark registration.
- PAN and Aadhar Card of the authorized signatory
- Identity and address proof of the signatory
- Signed Form TM-48, which is a legal document permitting an attorney to submit an applicant’s trademark with the trademark registry on their behalf.
- Upload the logo in color format to ensure that all colors used in the trademark are covered under the registration.
What is the process of Trademark Registration in India?
Any business or entity looking for trademark registration in India can get in touch with the UComply online trademark registration service and easily get their trademark registered by following the below-given steps:
- Check Trademark Availability:The company or entity has to provide what they want to trademark along with the industry in which they are operating. Then our experts conduct a thorough search across the trademark database to check whether the mark or logo they wish to register is available or not.
- Select Apt Class:The company needs to select the apt class for their business for which they will be guided and assisted by our experts, who will help them select the right class that covers all aspects of their business. Next, the company can upload all the required documents for trademark registration.
- Filing Application:All the uploaded documents will be verified by our team after which the trademark application will be filed along with the documents on behalf of the company. We make sure that the application is accurate and error-free. The company will get an update throughout the registration process and we keep a check on notifications from the Trademark Registry till the registration is complete.
- Publication of the Brand:After the examination process, the brand name is published in the Indian trademark journal by the Registrar of Trademark. If there is no opposition for the period of 90 days then the Registrar of Trademark will issue a trademark registration certificate.
- Trademark Opposition:If there is any opposition by a third party within 90 days of the trademark publication in the trademark journal, then the company will get a copy of the notice of the opposition from the Registrar of Trademark. The applicant company will need to reply to the opposition by filing a counter-statement within months. If the counter statement is not submitted within 2 months then the application will be abandoned and rejected.
- Hearing on Trademark Opposition:In case if applicant’s trademark is opposed and the applicant sends a counter statement within 2 months, then the copy of the counter statement is sent to the third party opposing the trademark registration. Both applicant and the third party need to submit the evidence in support of their case and a hearing opportunity will be given to both by the Registrar. After hearing both parties, Registrar will pass an order of acceptance or rejection of the application.
- Issuance of Registration Certificate:The applicant’s trademark application will be accepted by the Registrar if no opposition is raised within the period of 90 days.
Things to Consider when Registering a Trademark
A trademark is a company’s identity and the most valuable asset that significantly helps in building the company’s public image. It is a distinct mark that allows customers to distinguish a brand or company. Some of the important things to know about trademark registration are:
- Legal Protection over Infringement:Trademark registration gives the owner the right to sue any third party if they use their trademark without their prior permission. The trademark owner can use his legal rights if there is an infringement of an active trademark, logo, brand, or slogan.
- An Intellectual Property:A trademark is a type of intellectual property offering great benefits to the company. After registration, the trademark becomes an intangible asset that the owner can trade, franchise, contract, and distributed.
- Various Types of Trademarks:There are different types of trademarks that can be registered like logos, symbols, wordmarks, service marks, shapes, series marks, collective trademarks, pattern marks, sound marks, color marks, three-dimensional marks, certification marks, geographical indicators, etc.
- Trademark Validity:A registered trademark has a validity of up to 10 years after which it has to be renewed again. The renewal process should be initiated within one year before the expiry of the trademark registration. If a company fails to do then the trademark will no longer remain valid.
- Done on a Voluntary Basis:The registration of the trademark is not compulsory instead it is done on a voluntary basis. However, if registered the ownership of the trademark is with the person who has registered it.
- Trademark Symbols:The symbol TM is for Trade Mark and SM is for Service Mark which indicates that the trademark has not yet been registered and the trademark application is pending. The R symbol symbolizes that the trademark application has been approved and the applicant is the owner of the newly registered trademark and has the right to display the R symbol next to the trademark. The C symbol is valid for a lifetime and is used with the copyright holder’s name and it signifies the copyright that the owner has over some creative work.
Why choose UComply for Trademark Registration Service in India?
Businesses as well as individuals who are looking for online trademark registration services should prefer a company that is known as the best trademark registration service provider in India. UComply is India’s largest business service platform operating to help companies start and grow their businesses by abiding by all the essential legalities and formalities. Seeking professional assistance from UComply experts for trademark registration will serve clients with the following benefits:
- Find complete assistance in filling up the application forms
- Extensively search the trademark directory to ensure that the word, mark, or symbol selected by the applicant is unique.
- File for trademark registration on behalf of clients
- Advice on the trademark class under which the client should apply
- Provide consistent status updates until the trademark registration is completed.